June 2010 Update

To our friends and clients –
Cell Phone Etiquette: please everyone practice this tip.  If you drop a call, which we know happens quit often, then the person who originated the call is responsible for calling back.  That way you are not both trying to call back and going straight to voicemail or both are sitting there like dorks waiting for the other person to call back. Spread the word.
Since all we do is loan money to small businesses; we are always fascinated by the entrepreneurial imagination and concepts people can come up with.  You’ve got to love a place you can buy beer, gun, cigar and fishing pole at the same time. This store is in Schulenburg Texas about halfway between Houston and San Antonio on I-20. Check out the following link and you will be amazed too. Great job Amber!
Speaking of business models; we read an article recently by Joe Garrett and Corky Watts on simple vs. complex business models. While the piece is talking about mortgage lending specifically, it can apply to all businesses. While some complex business models do work, simple seems to win out over complex all the time. He writes: (1) focus on a very few goals (2) be very disciplined in sticking to these goals, and (3) have a fairly simple business model.
Check out this interactive map from Forbes.com – as you can see no amount of cool celebrities, legal weed, or other forces can stop people from leaving California and coming to Texas. This is another example of incentives at work, if you oppress people with high taxes and regulation; they leave and seek better alternatives for themselves.  As we say in Lubbock, folks, this ain’t underwater BB stackin.

Summer is upon us and this always seems like a good time for salespeople to slack off and basically say, well the summer is slow because everyone is on vacation.  We have found this to be one of the best times of the year to pick up business and solidify our network; yes most people go on vacation, but not for three months.  Focus is our recipe, call on those people you have had success with and treat them like kings.
Over the last five years BP has generated $145Billion in free cash flow and in the next five years they are expected to generate $187Billion in free cash flow.  So far to date their market cap has been hammered by $87Billion.  At its worst the spill is expected to cost $37Billion.  That is one big screw up by a company, no doubt, but what do they say about blood in the streets…? Check out this video and you will for sure think buy – buy – buy—
Whatchoo talkin’ about Willis?  Man we were sad to see Gary Coleman pass, even sadder is the way this child actor lived his adult life.  He made millions as child only to see it squandered away by his parents on crappy strip malls and other equally bad investments.  Gary was bitter and rightfully so.
There is a new political theme beginning to emerge; we are on a pace in the last 4 months to create more jobs than Bush did in his entire presidency.  Remember what Mark Twain said – Figures don’t lie, but Liars sure can figure.  Keith Hennessey can put it into clear perspective for you.  [check out this link]

We were really looking forward to going to California for regular season games and if The Pac 10 had caved and let the Longhorns have their own little network we could have been hanging out in the wine country playing Stanford.  How fun would that have been to beat those California guys? Nobody really cares anymore about the rivalries, the tradition, etc.  It is about the almighty TV dollar.  Not complaining – just saying.

Consumer confidence is at its highest level in two years, up 43% from its lows in 2008. We certainly see that demand translating into increased borrowing needs for our B2B clients.  We continue to fund companies that are coming out of banks, we have not gotten a sense that the regulators have eased up on the banks at all.  This is counter intuitive as you hear Washington calling for the banks to lend to small business, the regulators are still kicking asses and taking names.
Giving up equity is a hard decision and should be done only when you are sure that doing so will increase the size of the pie and allow you to accomplish your goals as an entrepreneur. Last month we visited with an owner who had given up 60% of their company and now they were coming to us to fund growth.  Think they got those steps reversed. Talk to your advisors, who by the way should not represent your equity partner, which was also the case in this visit as well.
The moratorium on deepwater drilling is like being mad at someone and hitting yourself with a hammer.  Classic knee-jerk reaction by politicians, this will cost upwards of 50,000 jobs, increase the trade deficit and make that Iran nut job happy.
As we have said before, one your goals should be to look for efficiency and results in all that you do…business, life and exercise. If you do any form of exercise at all, watch the following video. A little long but very good
Who needs friends! The State Department has confirmed that 22 countries have offered the US help with the Gulf Oil spill; but for a price. Not a single country has offered help with equipment or technology.  I understand the US is a rich country but come on people….maybe this could be payback time for all those times we show up with money. Just a jester might go along way.

President Obama has publicly said that he will let the Bush -era capital gains tax cut expire this year. Effective 2011 the capital gains tax will increase 5% and the top tax rate will go up 4.6%. Although it is only June, not a bad idea to be thinking about some cashing out some winners.

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